Thursday, December 10, 2020 5:48 pm
By Kanayo Esinulo
A great and restless soul goes into eternal rest. I visited Dr. Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo early this year at the Chancery. He was upstairs alone and listening to soft music. That was slightly unusual. Arthur was either reading, editing or in the midst of Professors and all sorts of University Teachers. I took a seat nearest to him because, by this time, his voice was beginning to lack volume.
You needed to sit near enough to hear his intellectual rendition and wits pouring out. I introduced my companion, George Mbah. He shouted: “George Mbah of Tell magazine and later Insider. You are welcome, you are very welcome, my dear”, he said to George Mbah.
We arrived the Chancery by 10.15am and Ikeogu Ndigbo, the restless intellectual agreed to release us by exactly 6.09pm. Arthur loved and enjoyed the company of discussants and community of intellectuals. He was never boring yet he dominates the topics, oozing out historical points and verifiable facts.
As we stood up to leave, he instructed his PA, Emma, to “please, drop them at their hotel”. His humility was infectious and profound. We got up and followed Emma downstairs and into the White Car, he still raised his voice: “Kanayo, bring George Mbah each time you visit me here at the Chancery”. My reply: I will, Sir! Ikeogu Ndigbo, Trust me!”
And we left. I mourn the departure of one of our best – a Flagship in his own right, one of my best friends whose Enugu home was a meeting point for all those who desire to know and learn how it all began in 1966. He was a man of ideas and he was an intellectual in a true Western Tradition.
At his Wake Keep on Tuesday, I noticed the presence of Chief Nnia Nwodo, Prof. George Obiozor, Chief Osita Chidoka, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, Cdon C Don Adinuba who represented Gov. Willy Obiano, and so many intellectuals. May God rest Ikeogu’s soul.
-Mr Kanayo Esinulo, journalist and media consultant, writes from Lagos